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Tips for Usability Professionals in a Down Economy

Tom Tullis

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2009, pp. 60-69

Article Contents

Tip #6: Keep up on Technology

It's never been particularly easy to keep up with the changing pace of technology. But have you noticed that the pace of technology change slows down when the economy takes a downturn? When was the last time you read an article hyping the latest great new "Web 2.0" application? Probably not very recently. So this one is actually easier to do now. And employers still value people who keep up on the latest developments, especially any that may have real value to the company.

What kinds of technology changes should you try to keep up on? That depends on the type of work you do. For those of us who work in the Web or software arena, some of the developments you might want to keep up on include the following:

And this isn't even counting a variety of mainstream tools that can also be used for prototyping, including PowerPoint, Visio, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver. It's always helpful for a usability person to be able to represent their ideas in some kind of prototype, even if it's just a static mockup. For brief reviews of sixteen prototyping tools, see Wilson (2008).

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